Handcrafted Mills

Information & Care Instructions

 

Based in Thessaloniki, Northern Greece, the makers of these handcrafted mills are a family-run company who have produced a range of grinding mills since 1977. The robust design of the mills was originally based on a portable coffee mill created in the early 1900’s for Greek soldiers to use in the field. These mills are exclusively distributed in Australia by Mr Kitly.

Your mill will need some regular care and maintenance to keep it in good working order. It's important to clean the mill regularly, keep its contents fresh and avoid exposure to moisture. Never wash the mill in water or in the dishwasher! Below are some more detailed guidelines for use and maintenance. 

Assembly

Mills 006, 022, 106, 500 and 502 are assembled ready for use. Other mill types may be sold with the handle inside the body of the mill. To assemble the mill, unscrew the bolt at the top of the mill and remove the top, take out the handle, replace the lid, place the handle on top of this, and screw the nut down tight. Prior to first use, it is recommended to clean the mechanism by grinding a small amount of ingredients through the mill and discarding.

Instructions for Use

Only use the mill for grinding ingredients it was intended for. Pepper mills are designed for grinding standard peppercorns, but may also be used to grind dry spices. Generally it is not recommended to grind larger peppercorns or spices with a soft core in these mills. Never grind salt in a mill intended for pepper, as this will corrode the metal mechanism. Salt mills have a plastic grinding mechanism and are suitable for grinding dry sea salt or rock salt. Avoid “wet” or “grey” sea salt, or salt flakes as these will clog the mechanism. Coffee mills come with a closed cup at their base to collect the ground coffee and are provided with a bigger mechanism since coffee beans are usually bigger in size.

Inserting Ingredients

Mills 006 and 106 have a unique trap door at the side for inserting peppercorns. All other mills are filled from the top by unscrewing the top knob and removing and replacing the handle and lid. It's a good idea to refresh the contents of the mill regularly to avoid them becoming stale and absorbing moisture over time which will clog the mill.

Adjusting the Grind

Mills 006 and 106 are adjusted by turning the knob at top. Tighten the knob clockwise for a finer grind. All other pepper mills and coffee mills may be adjusted by adjusting a screw to the underside of the grinding mechanism at the bottom of the mill. 

Cleaning Internal Parts

NEVER WASH THE MILL IN WATER OR IN THE DISHWASHER !

Regular cleaning will help maintain your mill in good working condition. Take the opportunity to give the mill a clean whenever you've taken it apart to refill the contents. The mills are designed to be easily disassembled for maintenance. Take the mill apart completely to remove any contents and thoroughly clean all parts.

After removing the top knob and handle, the grinding mechanism and central shaft should also be removed from the body of the mill. Mills 006 and 106 can be disassembled by removing screws to the underside of the mill. Other pepper mills have screws at the sides of the mill which need to be removed to take out the grinding mechanism. Salt mills have a different plastic grinding mechanism held in by screws to the underside of the mill, which can be removed to remove the plastic parts. Salt mills also have a black plastic internal lining to the main body of the mill which cannot be removed. See our instructional video demonstrating how to disassemble a salt mill here.

Once the mill is disassembled, give all the parts a good clean with a small brush and dry cloth. Only the plastic parts of the salt grinders can be cleaned separately in water to dissolve any clogged salt. All parts should be thoroughly clean and dry before reassembling. 

Any corrosion occurring inside the mill should be controlled while the mill is disassembled for cleaning. See below for more information on controlling corrosion. 

Cleaning and Polishing the Exterior

Brass and copper are naturally resistant to corrosion, but like all metals, they will inevitably oxidise and change in appearance with touch and with use and through exposure to moisture and oxygen in the air. This process is part of the nature of the metal and brings with it an attractive patina of use. The change in appearance is unpredictable and might occur in different ways on different parts of the mill. 

If you prefer to retain a bright polished look, most of the mills can be polished with an ordinary metal cleaner (such as Brasso or similar) using a soft cloth to polish the outside of the mill.

Please note however - pepper mills 402, 403, 404, 412, 413 and 414 are supplied with a lacquer coating which is baked on and provides resistance to exterior tarnishing, but which should not be cleaned or polished using metal cleaning product. Mills with a lacquer coating may be wiped clean with a damp cloth then dried.

Controlling Corrosion

Care should be taken to avoid exposure to moisture. Never wash or submerge the mill in water and do not wash in the dishwasher. Store the mill in a cool dry place. Exposure to moisture or humid environments may lead to more extreme corrosion such as bright green-blue to grey colourations, which are best removed. Corrosion may also sometimes occur inside the mill or between metal parts for example between the lid and the body of the mill. Without regular cleaning, there is a risk these metal parts might rust together.

There are a variety of proprietary metal cleaners on the market suitable for cleaning brass and copper (for example Brasso or Glanol). Alternatively you could make your own cleaning paste from ingredients in the kitchen. Some people suggest using a paste from 3 parts lemon juice and one part salt (or baking soda) rubbed into the affected metal with a clean cloth. A scourer or fine steel wool may be used to remove more substantial corrosion, but may also scratch the metal. A mix of salt and vinegar is also an alternative suggested by some. We've found a vinegar bath to be quite effective in removing rust and brightening up the metal surface. Be sure to dry thoroughly after cleaning with a soft dry cloth.

Please note! - These methods are suitable for use on uncoated metals and should not be used on mills supplied with a lacquer coating. Mills 402, 403, 404, 412, 413 and 414 are supplied with a lacquer coating which is baked on and provides resistance to exterior tarnishing, but which should not be cleaned or polished using metal cleaning product. 

Camellia oil has traditionally been used in Japan to help protect knives and blades from rust and tarnish and can be used on your uncoated mill to help inhibit corrosion, especially where it can develop unnoticed between the lid and the body. After cleaning and before putting the parts back together, wipe the metal parts thoroughly with a soft cloth dipped in camellia oil.  

 

 

Useful Links

How to maintain a salt mill (Vimeo)